Radio Control System for Motorised Winches Uses Membrane Keypads from Custom Keypads

(PRWEB) June 28, 2006

When BHW Group designed a new FM radio control system for powered winches, the company turned to membrane keypad specialist customKeypads to provide the user interface. Used outdoors in all weathers, the keypad has to provide reliable and efficient operation in very testing conditions.


The use of radio control for winches is now very popular particularly in vehicle recovery applications. With radio control, the winch operator can stand close to the breakdown some distance away from the recovery truck and is not limited by the length of the cable as he would be with a conventional wanderlead. In plant and machinery loading applications, too, radio control is useful for when a driver needs to be on the plant being loaded to steer and also release the brake on the machine.


Originally, BHW Group used a proprietary third party controller with its winch control system but found this to be unsatisfactory. The company decided to design its own radio control system that would incorporate the best of existing systems with the addition of new features. BHW Group consulted many users of its previous generation controllers and determined that a membrane keypad solution would be more serviceable than traditional switches and would provide reliable operation in all weathers. The keypad would also be more attractive aesthetically.


The operating environment for BHW Group’s FM Connect Radio is frequently very hostile and the product is designed to overcome the shortcomings of existing designs and provide the user with a high level of reliability.


All the electrics on the receiver printed circuit board are embedded in resin to prevent water ingress while LED indicators are included for diagnostic fault finding and to show low battery conditions. The vehicle-mounted receiver panel also features a duplicate of the transmitter keypad so if the battery should fail or the transmitter is mislaid, the winch can still operate.


Eric Ayres, BHW Group managing director, commented, “customKeypads provided the membrane keypads for both transmitter and receiver and these were manufactured to meet our exact requirements. The end result is attractive in appearance and provides the toughness to ensure a long operational life.”


BHW Group’s FM Connect radio control system transmitter is a straightforward three-button hand-held device that enables the operator to wind the winch in or out with an emergency stop button. The receiver panel is identical in layout with a larger surround area. Both transmitter and receiver membrane panels can be custom printed to incorporate end customer logos and individual markings.


Part of the customDesignTechnologies group, customKeypads can produce membrane panels incorporating the latest switching technologies and all keypads can have integral LED indicators with secret or hidden switches incorporated into them. Switching technologies available encompass non-tactile, Mylar dome and metal dome with embossing and frame embossing available as options. Various coating options are available to suit individual environmental considerations. Keypads can also be laser cut, reducing prototype tooling costs and lead times.


Based in Oxfordshire and with more than 15 years experience of providing custom solutions for customers in the electronics industry, customDesignTechnologies encompasses Bafbox custom enclosures, customKeypads membrane switch panels and customAssembly for costeffective and flexible electronic and mechanical assembly services for companies looking to outsource manufacturing.


For more information, please contact: customDesignTechnologies Limited, Greatworth Park, Greatworth, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX17 2HB,UK. Tel: +44 (0)1295 762100, Fax: +44 (0)1295 768888


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Information on BHW Group from: BHW Group Ltd, Lismirrane Industrial Park, Elstree Road, Elstree, Hertfordshire WD6 3EE, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 8953 6050, Fax +44 (0)20 8207 5308. Web site:


Press enquiries to: Tim Jennings, Marshall Jennings PR Limited, Wyvols Court, Swallowfield, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 1WY, UK. Tel: +44 (0)118 988 0288, Fax: +44 (0)118 988 0388.


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About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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